Posts Tagged ‘ low ’

Disappears: February 20, 2016 Baby’s All Right (incl. complete set of David Bowie’s “Low”)

February 21, 2016
By

IMG_1624

Let’s get this out of the way: this is not some thrown-together “tribute”; Disappears had this idea long before Bowie’s recent passing. You can hear the evidence on their 2015 live LP, in fact (which you can still find if you look), which captures their full performances at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art as part of a “Bowie Changes” series of events. Given what’s happened since, this Brooklyn redux of that memorable night took on new meaning, and showed us so much of what to appreciate about live rock music, and Bowie, who was one of the best.

Baby’s All Right was its typical self on Saturday night, a convivial hub for Williamsburg partiers and people of good musical taste. Disappears’ crowd was one of the better ones, composed mainly of the band’s regulars, scenesters and Bowie diehards interested in hearing the band’s take. Disappears’ material usually draws more comparisons to Joy Division and the Fall than the Thin White Duke, but only if you forget that Bowie had his own krautrock streak, evidenced on Station to Station as well as Low itself, a dissonant, dark piece of work that added to Bowie’s mystique as a musical chameleon whose taste rarely missed.

Before any Bowie, of course, Disappears had a full set for us of their own material, kicking off with the propulsive “Joa” followed by “Another Thought” and “I/O,” also from last year’s excellent Irreal, they decided to play some new material. Of these, my favorite might be “Silencing,” a mid-tempo meditation that continues in Irreal’s more subdued, textured vein but goes further down that path. Brian Case and bandmates Damon Carruesco, Jonathan van Herik, and Noah Leger (I’ve said this before, but damn can this guy drum) not only form one of the tightest units in music today, but they carry themselves with an understated poise that you wish you saw more often. Disappears is a band best seen from the front row, where you can watch both Case’s kinetic vocal delivery and get the full effect of the hammering of the drums and slink of the bass, urging on the dual guitars. This recording was made from onstage, making it about the closest thing to that experience.

Of course, everyone wants to know about the Bowie set. There are umpteen “tributes” going on these days, many of them hastily arranged for a quick buck and/or nostalgia jolt, and some of the highest-profile events to date have either reeked of gimmickry or have simply fallen flat. Disappears’ move was not only refreshing because it actually wasn’t a “response” to the artist’s passing, but because it took the most direct route: playing a Bowie album with an obvious relationship to Disappears’ vision. It’s the best kind of tribute, one that honored Bowie by letting his music, alongside Disappears’ own, speak for itself.

Most striking about Low as a live set is how distinct the album is to the LP format, with a clear side A of somewhat more conventional rock tracks followed by the dramatic shift of the Eno-driven side B, a languid, ambient affair that felt much farther afield than the rest of the set. That Disappears not only held our attention, but managed to recreate this album live without many of the electronics that defined the album, testifies to their skill as a band. Similarly, side B isn’t exactly a party-rock record, but for this crowd, “Warszawa” and “Art Decade” weren’t going to clear the room; the crowd tightened in, holding on for the surge of “Weeping Wall,” whose operatic sweep might’ve made you think, had you closed your eyes, that it was Godspeed You! Black Emperor up there making noise with its gaggle of musicians, not four guys. “Subterraneans” made for a subdued ending after that obvious climax, but once again, Disappears gave it the attention it deserved, straight through to the end.

While this Low performance won’t be the only one of the tour, there are only a few others scheduled, interspersed among the band’s regular tour schedule. You can catch the band Monday in Philly, and Tuesday in Pittsburgh (where they’ll do Low again).

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK22 open cardiod microphones onstage for an expansive, up front sound, combined with a soundboard feed of Disappears’ FOH Jason Balla’s mix, with assistance from Harrison Fore of Baby’s in setting it up. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/Apple Lossless/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Disappears
2016-02-20
Baby’s All Right
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Disappears FOH Jason Balla) + Schoeps MK22 (onstage, ORTF)>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust stereo image on audience, align, mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

[Total Time: 1:37:05]
Set One (Disappears songs)
01 JOA
02 Another Thought
03 I/O
04 11 Mile House
05 Ultra
06 Alarm
07 Silencing
08 Elite Typical
09 Halcyon Days

Set Two (David Bowie’s “Low”)
10 [intro]
11 Speed of Life
12 Breaking Glass
13 What In the World
14 Sound and Vision
15 Always Crashing In the Same Car
16 Be My Wife
17 A New Career In A New Town
18 Warszawa
19 Art Decade
20 Weeping Wall
21 Subterraneans

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Disappears, visit their website, and buy Irreal and their other releases here.

Low: June 19, 2013 Music Hall of Williamsburg + June 22, 2013 Solid Sound Festival (North Adams, MA) – FLAC/MP3 Downloads + Streaming Songs and Full Sets

June 25, 2013
By


low2013-06-19-1
[Photos by acidjack]

Our affection for the band Low is well-known; we were blown away by their performance earlier this year at the Society for Ethical Culture, touring behind their latest record The Invisible Way, as well as the performance by Alan Sparhawk’s other band, Retribution Gospel Choir, at Knitting Factory that found that band guesting with frequent Wilco collaborator Nels Cline.

These two almost back-to-back shows, first at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and next at the Solid Sound Festival — where our now-famous Wilco recording came from — did nothing to dim that affection. Despite the more traditional club setting, this Music Hall set was a subtler, less rocking affair than the show in the church, with fewer of Sparhawk’s guitar pyrotechnics and more emphasis on the band’s more traditionally “slowcore” numbers, including some rarer early material. But the highlight for me was the night’s biggest rocker, “Canada”, from the band’s album Trust and no longer a set regular. Likewise, at Solid Sound, Low continued to demonstrate why they’ve enjoyed a nearly 20-year career with no sign of slowing down, playing a set that differed significantly from just a few nights before. They may call this “slow”-core, but this has been a band of constant and exciting momentum.

The Music Hall recording suffered from some early technical issues that required me to switch to my mics a few songs in. The first and fourth songs of the set are missing as a result, the second song fades in, and the fifth, “Holy Ghost”, contains the noise of me setting up the mics. Once things settled down, it was smooth sailing from there and the sound was excellent. The Solid Sound set, graciously provided by DC-based site collaborator Kubacheck, is likewise an excellent recording, albeit with a bit more crowd chatter and made at more distance than the Music Hall show. It also has none of the Music Hall show’s flaws. Please enjoy!

These NYCTaper recordings are being hosted on the Live Music Archive.  You can stream the entire shows by clicking the song titles below or download them via the links provided.

Stream “Canada” from Music Hall:

Stream “Pissing” from the Solid Sound Festival

Direct download of Music Hall recording: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Direct download of Solid Sound recording: [MP3] | [FLAC]

low2013-06-19-2

Low
2013-06-19
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY USA

Download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK5 (cardiod, DFC, PAS)>Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod]>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust levels)>Audacity 3.0 (tracking, amplify, additional EQ, additional level adjustments, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

[Note: Soundboard source on first 1.5 tracks]

Tracks [Total Time 1:20:11]
[first song missed]
01 Plastic Cup (cuts in)
02 On My Own
[song missed]
03 Holy Ghost [setup noise]
04 Monkey
05 Waiting
06 Witches
07 Especially Me
08 Dragonfly
09 Try to Sleep
10 Violent Past
11 (That’s How You Sing) Amazing Grace
12 Lazy
13 Silver Rider
14 Just Make It Stop
15 [banter]
16 Canada
17 Laser Beam
18 [encore break]
19 Murderer
_____________

Low
2013-06-22
Solid Sound Festival
North Adams, MA USA

Download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by kubacheck
Produced by acidjack

MBHO KA200N>MBP603a>Naiant adapter>Naiant Tinybox>Roland R-05 (24/48)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust levels)>Audacity 3.0 (tracking, amplify, additional EQ, additional level adjustments, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 56:29]
01 On My Own
02 Plastic Cup
03 Clarence White
04 Holy Ghost
05 Monkey
06 Witches
07 Especially Me
08 Pissing
09 Dinosaur Act
10 Murderer
11 [banter]
12 Just Make It Stop
13 Last Snowstorm of the Year

If you download these recordings from NYCTaper, PLEASE SUPPORT Low, like them on Facebook, and purchase The Invisible Way and their other releases directly from SubPop Records [HERE]

Low: March 20, 2013 Society For Ethical Culture – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

March 24, 2013
By

low2013-03-20-1
[Photos by P Squared Photography]

Seeing Low inside a non-denominational church (the Society For Ethical Culture, a favorite spot of the Wordless Music Series) seems appropriate. The by-now-legendary Duluth, MN band, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has a sound that demands reverence. This audience of superfans gave it to the band, too, as the church stayed as pin-drop quiet during the mellowest parts of the band’s catalog as it filled with applause after every number. I was blown away by the Low show I saw at Bowery Ballroom two years ago, and this show may have bettered that one.  The band played the bulk of their current Sub Pop release, The Invisible Way, but delved into some rarities, too, such as “I Hear… Goodnight” from their In the Fishtank EP with The Dirty Three.  While the current record is a less full-on rock affair than 2011’s, C’Mon, it is still a comparatively noisy outing for the band who gave birth to the “slowcore” genre. Some of the noisier new songs were among the night’s best, particularly Alan Sparhawk’s squalling guitar freakout during “On My Own”.  The band was joined for the final quarter of the set by the night’s opener, the ACME String Quartet, and the added strings gave added depth to Low’s spare arrangements. The ACME players seemed as honored and gratified to be sharing the stage with Low as we were to be sharing the evening with all of them. During a pause in their playing during “So Blue”, I noticed one of the ACME players gently nodding, a huge smile on her face. The smile just about said it all.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK5 microphones at head height from the third row, center, in the audience.  That position, while great for watching a show, is not ideal for recording, especially as the PA stacks were placed outside the edges of the stage. Further, the large variations in volume mean that quiet portions of the program were especially quiet, which introduced some hiss from the analog signal chain.  I have done considerable editing to this recording to tame the hiss and raise the vocals and overall sound levels without ruining the dynamics of the band’s sound. After a lot of work, I am pleased with the results, even if it falls a little short of my usual standards. Enjoy!

Stream “On My Own”

This NYCTaper recording is being hosted on the Live Music Archive.  You can stream the entire show by clicking the song titles below.

Download: MP3s are [HERE], 16-bit FLACs are [HERE] 

low2013-03-20-4

Low
2013-03-20
Society For Ethical Culture
New York, NY USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK5 (cardiod, 3rd row, DFC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Aerco MP-2>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition (noise reduction, parallel compression, smooth peaks)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 3.0 (tracking, fades, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:44:28]
01 Waiting
02 Witches
03 [tuning]
04 Holy Ghost
05 Monkey
06 Clarence White
07 Mother
08 Words
09 Murderer
10 Shame
11 Pissing
12 Plastic Cup
13 July
14 [banter1]
15 Dinosaur Act
16 I Hear… Goodnight
17 Especially Me
18 [Intro Acme String Quartet]
19 So Blue
20 On My Own
21 Last Snowstorm of the Year
22 Soon
23 [encore break]
24 When I Go Deaf
25 To Our Knees
26 Just Make It Stop

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Low, like them on Facebook, and purchase The Invisible Way and their other releases directly from SubPop Records [HERE]

low2013-03-20-3

NYCTaper Top 25 Concert Moments of 2011: MP3 Downloads and Streaming Songs

December 23, 2011
By

SONY DSC

Live music in 2011 saw several newer bands consolidate their hold on greatness, while well-established acts from the 90s brought out crowds for reunion shows and, sadly, farewells. For those of us at the site, we were inspired by crowds of people who were, in a lot of cases, younger than we were checking out bands like Archers of Loaf live for the first time, or finally gaining appreciation for the work of artists like Cass McCombs and Bill Callahan. At the same time, favorite new or new-er bands like Widowspeak, The War on Drugs, White Fence and Mr. Dream, each of whom we saw multiple times, saw their fanbases grow quickly. If you heard their music for the first time on this site, and liked it enough to give them a look for yourself, well, we are all the more honored and grateful.

With four tapers contributing recordings to the site on a regular basis, picking the “best” 25 moments of an entire year is practically impossible. Looking back on another great year for the site, though, each of these particular moments from a show we recorded stands out in some particular way (though they are in particular order). A complete seamless mix is available for download below, plus streaming selections of each. We hope you enjoy our picks, and look forward to sharing more great artist-approved recordings in 2012.

Want the first word about recordings in 2012 (including in-show updates)? Follow nyctaper and acidjack on Twitter, and like NYCTaper on Facebook.

DOWNLOAD A FULL SET OF ALL 31 SONGS IN MP3 FORMAT [HERE]

1. Sonic Youth – “Inhuman” (Williamsburg Waterfront, August 12)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Well-publicized changes in the personal lives of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, the reigning king and queen of indie rock for the past two decades, may mean that Sonic Youth‘s performance at the Williamsburg Waterfront in August was their last NYC show. We hope that’s not the case. But if it is, wow, this band went out in as massive a style as possible, delivering a set full of rarities with the energy of 18-year-old punks instead of “elder” statesmen. The night closed with the apocalyptic noise squall of “Inhuman”, an at-times brutal piece of music that highlighted Sonic Youth’s roots as an art-punk noise band. While it is probably the worst quality recording of anything in this top 25, this blowout show closer, with its blasts of feedback, was easily one of the most memorable. Maybe there was something even more personal in those screams and feedback than we realized at the time.

Full post of this show [HERE]

2. The War on Drugs – “Arms Like Boulders” ( Bowery Ballroom, January 8 )

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The War on Drugs were a band we unabashedly fell in love with this year. An act that we first saw as an opening band, and who we saw in a huge range of venues this year (from Cameo Gallery to Webster Hall), these guys have earned their acclaim the old-fashioned way. First, their 2011 album Slave Ambient was an instant classic, a Dylanesque masterpiece. Second, they played a flat-out great live show, and they just kept getting better as the year went on. We chose this recording from the Bowery Ballroom because, well, it’s Bowery, and that place always sounds amazing.

Full post of this show [HERE]

2011_01_08_WarOnDrugs002

3. Deerhunter – “Flourescent Grey” (Webster Hall, August 23).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Although Deerhunter and Atlas Sound had appeared on this site several times, I (not speaking for the others from the site) counted myself as a Bradford Cox skeptic. That is, until Bradford and the band led off this show at Webster Hall with this song. The band’s sound became a living alien beast, breathing and hissing as the stage was bathed in an eerie green glow. The effect was aurally and visually arresting, and the show didn’t slow down a bit from there. I count myself a believer now.

Full post of this show [HERE]

4. Cass McCombs – “County Line” (Bowery Ballroom, May 12)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The American songwriter Cass McCombs is a critical darling, and has been since his first releases early last decade. Humor Risk, his new release on Domino Records, seems like the record that will make Cass a favorite with fans as well as critics. We know for sure that he sold out this show at Bowery quite handily, and Wit’s End has made an appearance on many a year-end list. This song, in particular, is a highlight, and this beautiful recording is a nearly flawless capture of Cass at his best.

Full post of this show [HERE]

5. The Psychic Paramount – “Ddb” (Union Pool, July 26)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Psychic Paramount provided me with one of those classic moments where an opening band completely overshadows the headliner, and wins a ton of new fans in the process. I caught the band this summer at Union Pool after reading some positive notice for their latest record, II. The album is an excellent work of psychedelic instrumental rock, but the live show – with the band shrouded in a stream of thick smoke, shredding on their guitars – took the experience to the next level.

Full post of this show [HERE]

6. The Smashing Pumpkins – “Muzzle” (Terminal 5, October 18)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The latest addition to our team, hi and lo, is a longtime Smashing Pumpkins taper who has crisscrossed the country covering the band. This was another act that I admittedly had somewhat given up on after their late-90s release Machina failed to ignite. Once again I was more than happy to be proven wrong, and reminded of the original greatness of this band. hi and lo invited the entire crew to this show, and it was one of the best we saw this year – a powerfully delivered, rocking performance that rivaled this band at their stadium rock peak in the mid-90s. The Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness track “Muzzle” – slightly lesser known but one of that album’s best – was a highlight in a show that was filled with them.

Full post of this show [HERE]

SP_2011-10-21_c

7. Low – “Witches” (Bowery Ballroom, April 27)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Low are a longstanding band who recently proved that they may yet hit their critical peak. Their 2011 release, C’mon, was outstanding – an artistic triumph, and one of their best since their inception in 1993. This show, as I put it then, demonstrated the value of speaking softly, as the band delivered a set of understated grace and majesty. The song “Witches”, with its somber guitar riff, is one of my favorite on the new record, and was one of the highlights of the night.

Full post of this show [HERE]

8. DELETED

9. Lucero – “Across the River” (Mercury Lounge, July 23)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Johnny Fried Chicken Boy went to see “Nobody’s Darlings” booked as the late show at Mercury Lounge knowing full well that who this mystery band would be. Taking a pause from their stint on the Warped Tour, Lucero rocked an appreciative and typically rowdy weekend Mercury crowd with a 100-minute, free-ranging set. This is the kind of band that defines live rock n’ roll – great players who sound natural, relaxed and like they’re having as good a time as you are. Since first seeing this band as an opener for The Black Keys back in 2009, we have watched their star continue to rise. With a headlining show coming up the day before New Year’s Eve at Brooklyn Bowl, you can be sure Lucero has plenty left in the tank for this year.

Full post of this show [HERE]

10. Godspeed You Black Emperor! – “World Police and Friendly Fire” (Brooklyn Masonic Temple, March 16)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I wrote what I thought was my best review that year on my iPhone during the first run-through of this song I heard the night before – so inspired by what I was seeing and hearing I had to capture my thoughts that instant. Of the show, I said in part: “GYBE are an unabashedly political band, and their music, as well as the intense visuals that their live performances soundtrack, are political in a mostly-abstract way. The visuals are mash-ups that evoke the world’s extremes; majesty and beauty in the midst of nascent dread. Here you see the fires of smoldering factories soundtracked by a plaintive surge of sound, where the sound of even the lowly triangle can take on menace. But there is beauty there, as there is in an unmolested glen; in a snippet of a nostalgic ramble that is both endearing and creepy. During the two and a half hour opus that was this phenomenal return to Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple … we were reminded that out of each paroxysm of suffering and bout of anxiety, there remains the zeal and fervor of hope.”

Full post of this show [HERE]

GYSBE

11. Yo La Tengo feat. David Byrne – “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel [Talking Heads]” (Maxwell’s, March 23)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Our original goal for this post was not to repeat any bands that made the list last year, but Yo La Tengo deliver something so special at every show, it was impossible to ignore this once-in-a-lifetime happening. Musicians across New York and the United States were moved to help their brethren in Japan after the terrible damage wrought by the tsunami and subsequent nuclear reactor meltdowns. Yo La Tengo did their part by throwing this very special benefit show at their homebase venue of Maxwell’s, with all proceeds going to Peace Winds Japan. David Byrne appeared with the band and performed a special rendition of this Talking Heads classic. A direct donation to Peace Winds Japan was required to be able to download this set, and through those donations, we have raised over $5,000 for the organization to date.

Full post of this show [HERE]  donation to Peace Winds Japan is required to download the show.

yolatengobyrnejapan

12. Destroyer “Kaputt” (Webster Hall, April 3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Pitchfork may have ultimately handed the #1 spot on their year-end best-of to Bon Iver, but I called it back in April that Destroyer’s Kaputt would be close. A weird, wonderful album that resurrected the saxophone for new generation of rock fans, as I put it back then, “…Bejar’s music is almost radically foreign to what else is going on in American music today. Which is to say, Kaputtisn’t really dance music, nor can it be considered “rock” of most common varieties, and neither is it some fist-pumping, amped-up hybrid of the two. Bejar’s edges are soft, his choruses delivered on a silky train of trumpet and sax trills in a moderate, almost diffident tone. If the common mode for today’s bands is a marriage of post-punk and hard dance music, 2011’s Destroyer could be, well, “indie rock and smooth jazz…” This live show at Webster Hall was a hotly anticipated one this year, and Bejar nailed it.

Full post of this show [HERE]

13. The Antlers – “Putting the Dog To Sleep” ( Knitting Factory, May 8 )

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Antlers continued their rise in the ranks of local bands this year with the release of their new album, Burst Apart. We were fortunate enough to catch a very special secret show at The Knitting Factory sponsored by BrooklynVegan, at which the band played the entire new album for a group of hardcore fans. This was the first time we had heard a number of these songs live, and it was evident from the start that Burst Apart was a huge creative leap forward for the band.

Full post of this show [HERE]

theantlers04

14. Wye Oak – “The Alter” (Rock Shop, January 27)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

It was absolutely freezing out when I went to see Wye Oak, performing a special invite-only show after opening for The Decemberists the night before. The band was on the cusp of releasing Civilian, an album destined for many best-of lists, and they were surrounded by friends and family to debut many of its songs live. The intimate jewel box of Rock Shop was the perfect place to do it, feeling like our personal living room as we watched the duo play. After going through the experience of being an opening act at the Beacon Theatre the night before, I’m sure it felt like a sort of homecoming for the Baltimore natives.

Full post of this show [HERE]

15. White Fence – “Baxter Corner” (Bowery Ballroom, August 13)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Our first exposure to White Fence came as they opened for Woods at Bowery Ballroom, on a night when the NYCTaper crew decided to team up and use a combination of our finest equipment. Not only is our capture one of our best recordings of the year, but this new “band” (basically the solo artist Tim Presley, with members of Woods and drummer Nick Murray as his backing band) blew us away with its catchy garage-psych tunes.

Full post of this show [HERE]

16. Family Band – “Again” (Backyard Brunch Sessions, July 23)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Our friends at the Backyard Brunch Sessions held another successful summer season of intimate outdoor shows. Not only did they give the NYCTaper team the chance to show off what we can do recording-wise, but they introduced us to some fantastic new talent. Of all the acts hosted at the BBS this summer, Family Band was probably my single favorite. Lead by the husband and wife team of Jonny Olsin and Kim Krans, the band played a mesmerizing set on this sweltering midsummer afternoon. They call their music “death prom,” and indeed, it is downbeat, but its pastoral quality is one of its greatest strengths, well earned in the band’s upstate Catskills recording location.

Full post of this show [HERE]

bbs-family-band-6

17. Blitzen Trapper – “Good Times Bad Times [Led Zeppein]” (Maxwell’s, December 9)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Blitzen Trapper were out east from Portland for a live appearance on Letterman, and decided to grace their big fans with a Maxwell’s show while they were at it. The tight, energetic and totally fired-up crowd lapped up the 25-song set, which culminated with a ripping cover of “Good Times Bad Times” by the mighty Led Zeppelin.

Full post of this show [HERE]

18. Bill Callahan – “Say Valley Maker” (Bowery Ballroom, July 12)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bill Callahan is an uncanny musician – with songwriting chops, unique phrasing and a distinctly American style that is both timeless and timely. His new record Apocalypse is but one of a long run of critical and fan favorites from the songwriter, who recorded during most of the 90s under the moniker Smog.  This show found Callahan combining a set heavy on new material with some of his earlier favorites.  Callahan and his band performed a rich set that found some numbers stretching into lengthy instrumental meditations, and none so much as this nearly 10-minute rendition of “Say Valley Maker” from his 2010 effort, Rough Travel for a Rare Thing.

Full post of this show [HERE]

bill-callahan_dana

19. The Hold Steady – “How A Resurrection Really Feels” (Beekman Beer Garden, September 17)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Four years to the day that the site first covered The Hold Steady, we caught them again at an outdoor show that took full advantage of Craig Finn’s barroom-friendly tunes. We saw the Hold Steady twice this year, and both times the band continued to capture the magic they’ve had since their inception. Finn slows no sign of slowing down – or selling out.

Full post of this show [HERE]

holdsteady1

20. Fucked Up – “Running On Nothing” (Warsaw, November 15)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In some ways, it’s appropriate that Fucked Up would follow The Hold Steady on this list – both are known for raucous, exceptionally fun live shows. Fucked Up is my one repeat choice from last year, and the reason I chose them again is simple: Once again, they have transcended the confines of their ostensibly “punk” roots to deliver an album of exceptional complexity and bravado. This show at Warsaw was a complete run-through of that album, David Comes to Life, and this song, with its dueling guitars, was one of the highlights.

Full post of this show [HERE]

21. Tristen – “Doomsday” (NYCTaper CMJ Day Party at Cake Shop, October 21)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

For the last several years, NYCTaper has thrown an unofficial “day party” during the CMJ Music Festival – an opportunity for us to get drunk throw a concert for artists we appreciate and make some damn fine recordings, too. Tristen released a new record this year, earned lots of good reviews, but hadn’t really hit the NYC scene very hard, despite the immediate accessibility of her country-tinged indie-folk. Several people thanked us for urging them not to miss her set at our show at Cake Shop. But if you did, here’s a second chance – don’t miss Tristen.

Full post of this show [HERE]

tristen01

22. Jessica Lea Mayfield – “Run Myself Into the Ground” (Glasslands, November 17)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Glasslands was my most common haunt this year for a couple of obvious reasons – the semi-DIY Williamsburg venue and its partnership with PopGun Booking continue to bring in some of the best up-and-coming talent in this city in an artful, relaxed environment – and it sounds great most nights, thanks to current house engineer Josh Thiel. As to Jessica Lea Mayfield, we’ve caught her in fancier environs like Bowery, but this intimate, packed and sold-out show was the best of hers that we’ve seen. It was hard to pick a single favorite of the many revelatory shows I saw at Glasslands, but this one is certainly in my top few.

Full post of this show [HERE]

23. Archers of Loaf – “Dead Red Eyes” (Music Hall of Williamsburg, June 25)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Archers of Loaf had been gone long enough at this point that some original fans had forgotten to even miss them. Well, that’s OK – there were plenty of new ones to take their place at this show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Screaming out for songs they’d never heard live, singing along with lyrics, plenty of new fans showed up for this gig. Plenty of veterans did, too – after reliving this band’s greatness on records like Vee Vee and Icky Mettle. Frontman Eric Bachmann hasn’t stopped making music (he’s Crooked Fingers more often these days), and it showed in his instant poise once back together with his old bandmates. This slow burner was one of many memorable moments of a night that made us hope Archers of Loaf would stick around awhile.

Full post of this show [HERE]

24. Guided by Voices – “Don’t Stop Now” (McCarren Park, June 18)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The NYCTaper crew contributed this recording as an official release that is for sale on the Guided by Voices website. In case you were wondering, we weren’t paid for doing it – our goal was only to make the definitive recording of this legendary band. “Definitive” or not, I think this one is very good – and a perfect representation of the highlight show of this year’s Northside Festival.

This show for sale at gbvdigital.com [HERE]

GBV-Ventrice

25. Mountain Goats – “This Year [with Craig Finn]” (Bowery Ballroom, March 28)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Appropriately, our year-end compilation ends with John Darnielle and guest Craig Finn singing the perfect sendoff to 2011. “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me” could mean a lot of things, but for us, we’re fortunate that we were able to continue to do what we love doing as a hobby, without financial support, and to – yeah – be able to continue to treat this thing that we do as a hobby rather than a job. Bands like the Mountain Goats, and their consistently surprising, fan-friendly performances are a big part of what makes this site worth doing. The other part is of course you, our readers. Happy New Year!

Full post of this show [HERE]

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Lemonheads – “My Drug Buddy” (Bowery Ballroom, October 10)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Sebadoh – “Willing to Wait” (Maxwell’s, November 11)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Deer Tick – “Bastards of Young [The Replacements]” (Webster Hall, November 20)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Hoop Dreams – “Home Alone” (Glasslands, August 2)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Lemonheads15

Sharon Van Etten – “Love More [w/ Peter Silberman]” ( Bowery Ballroom, January 8 )

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Melvins – “Second Coming>The Ballad of Dwight Frye” (Music Hall of Williamsburg, June 6)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Special thanks to all of the artists, management, labels, photographers and other music sites that have supported NYCTaper this year. And of course, a huge thank you to our readers, who we hope to continue to provide with high-quality, artist-sanctioned recordings, reviews and photos throughout 2012. Happy New Year!

Low: April 27, 2011 Bowery Ballroom – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

May 2, 2011
By


[Photos by wagz2it and courtesy of A Heart Is A Spade]

Low are perhaps the best musical example of the value of speaking softly.  Since 1993, they have been playing perfectly expressed, understated American music with a deftness and grace that eludes all but the very best artists.  Much is made of the fact that, throughout a musical period where brash, loud and reckless are the touchstones of popular indie bands, they have won legions of fans with songs that are none of those things.  Indeed, their songs are tightly written concoctions; their primary strength lies in the singular vocal harmonies of guitarist Alan Sparhawk and drummer Mimi Parker, who plays a limited set of drums standing up. But really, being different is not what makes Low stand out.  What makes people pay attention to them – to cause them to watch their entire 90-minute performance in stunned rapture, punctuated only by bouts of furious applause – is what should always make people pay attention to anything.  That is, that they are excellent at what they do, phenomenally talented, dedicated and musically almost perfect (one little false start notwithstanding).  Although the band have many, many fine albums under their collective belt at this point, their recent release C’mon nonetheless represents another high watermark for the band, as it is not only contains some amazing new numbers like “Witches” and the expansive rocker “Nothing But Heart,” but is flawlessly recorded in an old church that captures the warmth of the band’s sound ideally.

This being a Wednesday night, the band was rewarded with an attentive and devoted Bowery Ballroom crowd that watched Sparhawk, Parker and bassist Steve Garrington give a majestic performance that was one of the best I have seen in my entire life.  What struck me most about Low was their level of control; Sparhawk and Parker are a seamless vocal instrument, such as on the lovely first encore, “Sunflower” from 2001’s Things We Lost In the Fire, and their command of their material a pleasure to watch unfold in the live setting.  The venue was ideal for the band – intimate enough for us to be able to hang on every word, but large enough to let them unleash the power of their more soaring songs, including the epic quiet/loud combo on their second encore, “When I Go Deaf”.  That they played a second encore is a sign of what a rich and outstanding show this was; everything was going right. At a quiet show like this, you often worry about people not paying attention, talking, and generally distracting other listeners; Low don’t seem to have that problem. It is impossible to be torn away. Sometimes, there is value in speaking softly.

I recorded this set with the DPA microphones in my usual location in the venue with a hand-built analog preamp for added warmth and detail. Because the band was playing very quietly at certain points, there are some moments of perceptible hiss from both the venue PA and my equipment, as well as some spots of light wind noise from the venue’s HVAC system that are almost never audible during louder shows.  Despite these minor flaws, I think this is overall an excellent recording and a great capture of the evening  (including the very respectful and very enthusiastic crowd).

 

Download the MP3 and FLAC files on the Live Music Archive [HERE]

Follow acidjack on Twitter

Low
2011-04-27
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

An acidjack master recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack for nyctaper.com

Equipment: DPA 4021>Oade M248>Sony PCM-M10 (24/44.1)
Position: Slightly ROC, clamp to balcony rail, pointed at stacks
Mastering: 24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Audacity (set fades, amplify and balance, select noise reduction, smooth peaks, hard limit clapping, balance and amplify individual tracks, amplify entire performance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:27:24]

01 Point of Disgust
02 Breaker
03 Try to Sleep
04 You See Everything
05 Monkey
06 Silver Rider
07 Witches
08 Especially Me
09 Last Snowstorm of the Year
10 $20
11 Majesty/Magic
12 Nightingale
13 Nothing But Heart
14 Something’s Turning Over
15 [false start]
16 Murderer
17 [encore break 1]
18 Sunflower
19 Violent Past
20 Cue the Strings
21 [encore break 2]
22 When I Go Deaf

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Low, like them on Facebook, and purchase C’mon directly from SubPop Records [HERE]

Support nyctaper

DISCLAIMER and LEGAL NOTICE

nyctaper.com is a live music blog that offers a new paradigm of music distribution on the web. The recordings are offered for free on this site as are the music posts, reviews and links to artist sites. All recordings are posted with artist permission or artists with an existing pro-taping policy.

All recordings and original content posted on this site are @nyctaper.com as live recordings pursuant to 17 U.S.C. Section 106, et. seq. Redistribution of nyctaper recordings without consent of nyctaper.com is strictly prohibited.

nyctaper.com hereby waives all copyright claims to any and all recordings posted on this site to THE PERFORMERS ONLY. If any artist posted on this site requests that recordings be removed, those recordings will be removed forthwith.